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Aberdeen Tips (59)

Aberdeen Harbour

with views of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, popular here and owned by Macau Gambling Mogul Stanley Ho.

Aberdeen was formerly a fishing village. Even though quite a few commercial towers and factories have been built in this district in recent years, Hong Kong Tsai still maintains the characteristics of a traditional fishing village. There are also boat-dwellers in the Aberdeen Bay, shuttling with sampan along the Bay, from which one can have a glimpse of the life of the boat-dwellers, The famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant (One was Moved and now is in Manila Bay in the Philippines) and the Tai Bak (Tai Bei) Seafood Boat are located at the Aberdeen Habour. Visitors can enjoy a free travel by ferry boat to the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant if you plan to eat there.

Aberdeen was named, in 1845, after the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen. It is famous to tourists for the boat people living in the harbour and the floating seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. The boat people are generally associated with the fishing industry, and there are also several dozen expatriates living on boats in the harbour.

machomikemd's Profile Photo
Oct 01, 2014

the boat people of aberdeen

I Have been to Aberdeen a couple of times already and I have old pictures here at lmy hong kong island tips. Hong Kong actually started in Aberdeen Area of Hong Kong Island, where since the 13th century, this was a famous fishing village, where the local sea people were named Hong Kong Tsai and even though hong kong is now a modern area, the local people of aberdeen still prefer to live among their boats so that if you are going on an aberdeen harbour tour, you will be many large wooden boats that are the homes of the local people and even some of the local boats they use for the tours have home like amenities.

machomikemd's Profile Photo
Sep 30, 2014

Pre-British Hong Kong

Aberdeen in reality is very different from the fiction that some guidebooks indulge into. This place might have owned the original name of Hong Kong and have been privy to a fishing boat life but today it is as busy and cramped with signature apartment skyscrapers as any other part of the region. The legacy lives on though and locals are there to ride on its crest. The “thing” to do in Aberdeen is to board one of the local boats with funny shape mainly manned by older women, and proceed to go for a spin around some parked boats and a restaurant in the harbour. The intrigue unveils itself almost immediately after a white-skinned person approaches the seafront walkway. Overripe female touts are crushing into the visitor on land with the only intention to sell a 30min $HK100 ride. When those are fended off there are the “waterborne” ones who would employ every ruse including their honk devices to attract the newcomer to their one-and-very-special tour of the harbour for, guess what, the same already well-known price. Bargaining is possible and it reveals quite a bit of the local ambition to win these peculiar Olympics. One of the boat mermaids had it in her head that it would be a good move to agree to a lower price in order to get the “cooked shrimp” in the boat and there start to ask for more money in front of grinning local males on their way to free crossing courtesy of a “stupid” foreigner.
A different set up is installed at the point where the “Hop-on-hop-off” bus lets its passengers go off. When asked whether it is possible to board a boat without the combo ticket of the boat-bus trip the “usher” responded positively. Her next move was to ask for the money, HK50 for 20min, a relative bargain compared to the entrepreneurial ladies downstream. When she received the funds she continued on to the next person without issuing a ticket. Amazingly, she wanted to make a 100% profit by stealing from her employer.
Fortunately, there is a third option – the state-owned ferries. Crossing the channel went for $HK2 and as for the longer ride to Lamma island one has to dish out just $HK11 for one hour ride. Going local pays off big in Hong Kong it seems.

Assenczo's Profile Photo
Feb 25, 2014


Aberdeen is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island.

Historically it has always been a fishing port and there are still dozens of fishing boats moored beside traditional junks in the harbour. The surrounding area has become a tourist attraction and many visiters travel especially to Aberdeen have a seafood banquet at one of the floating restaurants. The Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant (and yes it is large!) is the most well known. You need to take a free tender from the pier to the restaurant but its only a short ride.

Aberdeen will eventually be connected to Central by a new MTR but for the time being you need to take a bus or taxi.

swissfondue's Profile Photo
Sep 10, 2013
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Sampan Harbour Cruise

Aberdeen is an area on the south shore of Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. In fact the name 'Hong Kong' was the original name of the area and foreigners who landed here in the 1800's mistook the name as for the whole island. Consquently, Aberdeen was named in 1845 after the then British Secretary of State for War and Colonies - George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen

Today, as then, it is the harbour that is the drawcard. Aberdeen is famous for its floating village and giant seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Many of the Tanka people, associated with the fishing industry, still live on the water

There are regular ferries across the harbour and to neighbouring Lamma Island. For locals to get to their boats the sampan service is the best. It is also the best way for visitors to get an ideal view of the harbour.

al2401's Profile Photo
Jun 20, 2010


Already in 1987 I was shocked by all the highrise buildings in Hongkong and specially in Aberdeen. What had been a fisher village has turned into a nightmare of ugly condominiums. Nothing has changed since then. There are just more and higher buildings and a big fish market.

The houseboats have mainly vanished, there are now marinas for luxurious motor yachts and some fishing boats are left. A Sampan ride now means a big motor boat making a tour around Jumbo Restaurant.

You see: I did not like it in 1987 and I did not find reason to change my mind. Maybe I should put this under "Tourist Traps".

But on the other hand it is quite interesting as you learn a lot about living conditions of people in Hongkong.

nepalgoods's Profile Photo
Jul 18, 2009

Take A Harbour Cruise On A Sampan

Aberdeen is located on the south west of Hong Kong Island. It is one of the oldest settlements on the island. The place used to be pirate infested but today it offers visitors a glimpse into a contrasting lifestyle between those, mainly fishermen, living in the traditional boat houses and the urban population in modern high rise apartments nearby. Cruising the harbour on a sampan will allow visitors a closer look of the boat houses. There are some 5000 of them moored around the bay but the numbers have since dwindled when many took up the government's offer for rehousing. Aberdeen is also famous for its floating seafood restaurants. One of them is Tai Pak Seafood Restaurant.

Chuckaziz's Profile Photo
Jun 30, 2009

Boat tour around Arbeeden Harbor

Abeerbeen Harbor has been made famous by movies with the traditional rowing boat of Hong Kongers wearing the conical hats and living in on-the-water fishing village of boats.

You will see the famous Jumbo Boat Restaurant made well known by a James Bond movie. This is a sanctuary for boats during the typhoons. The surrounded area is now so well-built, the slumps of the 60's on the hillslopes have all been replaced by sparkling modern high rises.

It is a fun boating trip not to be missed if time permits.

SLLiew's Profile Photo
Jan 15, 2008

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Aberdeen used to be a quite fishing village. Alas no more. It is a harbour area full of highways and high rises.

It is famous to tourists for the boat people living in the harbour and the floating seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. The boat people are generally associated with the fishing industry, and there are also several dozen expatriates living on boats in the harbour.

I did'nt find all that much to do here but I did take a ride on a junk run by little old chinese ladies.(mine spoke no English) Somehow I managed to find myself on a junk all on my own when all the others were full up (so that got me a few stares). The price was $50 but they start of higher so be prepared to negotiate.

The trip lasts about 30 mins and takes you round the harbour past the boat people and fishing community and past the famous floating Jumbo restaurant.

mad4travel's Profile Photo
Dec 31, 2007

Sampan trip round Aberdeen Harbour

But the highlight of the visit to Aberdeen is the trip on a sampan round the harbour (the floating restaurants now firmly belong to 'tourist traps' and are over-priced and poor value for money). Best way to take a trip is to simply walk along the promenade - you'll soon be invited to pay around HK$60 pp for a 30 minute trip by the women who run the boats (and they'll do it for one or ten - negotiate the price though the bigger the group). They're actually good value, and you soon find yourself plying the busy waterways ducking in and out of narrow boating lanes, getting an insight into the busy waters of the harbour and the people who live on the water (although it is now technically illegal to live on the boats, people still do it).

leffe3's Profile Photo
Oct 13, 2007


Aberdeen is a major destination due to the giant floating restaurants and the sampan tours of the harbour. There's little else to see in Aberdeen (although Ocean Park and Waterworld is a little further south of the town) - it's is a smaller scale version of the dingier parts of HK itself and other than the attractions above is essentially a dormitory suburb of HK, made up of mainly apartments, new office blocks where rents are cheaper and a large bus terminus (change here for Stanley and Waterworld if you have not caught a direct bus from Central). A 10 minute walk from the harbour is the Tin Hau Temple, one of HK's more important temples to Tin Hau, patron to fishermen and other boat people.

leffe3's Profile Photo
Oct 13, 2007

Explore Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen is a busy fishing port on the south side of HK Island. Catch a ferry from Lamma Island as you'll get a fantastic view coming into the harbour - much more picturesque than getting there by bus. Stroll along the waterfront and watch old ladies peeling prawns and then drying them in the sun. Walk over the flyover to Aberdeen Plaza - this is where the locals all go to shop! It's very crowded at the weekends. Walk along the back streets and look at the fruit and vegetables - great variety! You can see Chinese shop assistants making up prescriptions in traditional Chinese medicine shops. Grab a bowl of snake soup in winter - it actually doesn't taste that bad.
You can then catch a bus and go on to Repulse Bay or Stanley or go back to Central. The bus services in Hong Kong are regular, safe and quite cheap.

SueMagee's Profile Photo
Mar 20, 2007

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